Sixteen per cent of the UK population does virtually all of its shopping online now, according to a survey conducted by Royal Mail, which showed the importance of an effective returns service for customer retention.
Of the more than 1,500 people polled, 78 per cent said that the returns experience was likely to affect their rating of a marketplace seller; with 73 per cent expecting a free returns service. A further 60 per cent said that they were unlikely to return to a marketplace seller if charged for a return.
Nick Landon, managing director, Royal Mail Parcels, said: “The internet is one big shop front, letting people anywhere in the country get their hands on anything they want. Convenient returns play a big part in making e-commerce attractive, and as online shoppers become more and more comfortable with online purchasing they are starting to dictate how they want the process to work, from free returns to end to end tracking.”
Thirty per cent of online shoppers surveyed returned women’s clothes. The main reasons for returning clothing were fit and size, while the most common reasons for returning other items were faults and damage.
This publication coincides with the launch of the new Royal Mail Tracked Returns service. It allows customers to print off a returns label and monitor the progress of their item while giving retailers full visibility of what exactly is being returned, from which customer and for what reason.
According to the survey, 72 per cent favoured the Post Office over other locations, with 77 per cent noting that they are more likely to return to a retailer if the retailer offered returns via Royal Mail.